About Me

My photo
I have always made jewelry. I started out making earrings for friends when I was 8 or 10 and has continued through the years. I love to figure out ways to create a new pair of earrings or a pendant or to make something from trash that someone else threw away.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Favorite Place

I'm in a group on Etsy. All of us work with metal clay. Every month we have a team challenge where the winner picks the next challenge theme. The last winner chose favorite places. I sat at my workbench today digging up new ideas for the challenge. Favorite places..... In my mind I thought of wonderful vacation spots, backpacking in Brittain... But as I thought of these places I couldn't think of one single place that was my favorite. I'm hoping as many people do, to see many more places in the future and how could I just pick one particular place out when there are so many more places that I want to see. As I'm sitting there I look to the floor next to my bench. Sitting there all quiet was my mom's old wooden sewing box. I remember when I was little it seemed like such a mystery to me. So many different buttons, where had they come from and why was she keeping them? Pink thread, red, green. I decided to sit on the floor and go through it once again. Looking through it brought back so many memories. I remember the orangeish thread she used for a pinafore she made me. I found a green button and wondered if it was to my girlscouts uniform. I saw dad's work shirt buttons. All of this put a smile on my face and it made me realize..... This was my favorite place. As a child anyway. So what do I do to put it in a jewelry design... Hmmmm. Taking a picture of it made me realize that this one thing probably will turn into many things for me. I think I will start off with one. A charm, a sewing bobbin. This will be my challenge entry for so many reasons. I like it. Now to get started!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Things That I've Made

This last month of relocating the studio and setting up is almost completed. In the meantime I had to restock the gallery, here are a few pieces that I completed that were shipped out for the holiday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Love Life

I found this today as I was packing, its something that someone wrote that my mom had copied, but brought a smile to my face and a tear in my eye.....

I love Life

Things aren't the same
as they used to be;
my kidneys have failed
and I'm not as free.

I get a little tired
and my fingers are numb,
my blood pressure's low
and my legs cramp some.

My veins are bigger
and my skin is tan,
they poke needles in my arm
whenever they can.

I'm attached to a machine
three days a week
and hope to God
my blood doesn't leak.

They put in some Heparin
and then E.P.O,
a little more Saline
and away I go.

But I'm still happy
with what I've got;
I'm still alive
and it's better than not.

I can still hear the whistle
of the wind and the trees,
and the musical laughter
of my kids as they tease.

I can still see snowflakes
on a white winter day,
and smell the aroma
of a new mown hay.

I can still feel the breeze
as the boat gently sways,
on the lake as it ripples
on hot lazy days.

I can still see the color
of the sky so blue,
and look out the window at a snowbird or two.

I can still bake a pie
and some cookies too,
put on the coffee
and visit with you.

And what is more wonderful
than soup on the pot,
and bread from the oven
still fresh and hot.

Good food, good friends,
and a glass of wine,
memories of this
are still all mine.

By: Mardell Peters

Monday, October 18, 2010


As fall is approaching many changes are going on. The thought of a new place to live, new faces, watching the leaves changing, seeds falling and pumpkins on peoples porches makes me excited for warm winter nights in front of a fire on the couch with a warm blanket. I miss seeing the leaves changing and the bright colors of a changing season. This area mostly pine trees has few colors but slight colors bring excitement. I have scouted the backyard and have picked up seeds and a few green specimens that I can salvage for winter jewelry making. The fig tree in the backyard has produced fruit for the first time!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tribal Art

Learning metalsmithing techniques is a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I've started to incorporate some soldering and bezel setting in with my metal clay designs. This
project was simply going to be non metal clay.
I started making this necklace simply in separate pieces. I had soldered domed copper discs onto copper washers.
I was experimenting with heat patinas when I decided to make earrings out of them. Somehow in the mix I decided to do a separate handmade copper chain with ball end rivets. It just needed something!!! I took apart the earrings, soldered them together then make a form to hang it from.

Voila! Tribal Art!!

Dougs Ring

I found an unusual piece of driftwood on one of my beachcombing expeditions. I kept it as I usually do with some of my found objects. My boyfriend asked me if I could make him a ring, not too chunky with a design of some sort..... I showed him the texture
on the piece of driftwood and he loved it. It became amission to make this ring and somehow put a special message inside! The only way to capture the texture on this piece of wood was to take a strip of polymer clay, bake the clay to form a hard flat textured mold. I rolled out the Metal Clay 5 cards thick onto the mold and formed it on the mandrel to dry. Once dry I filled in the seam with paste and sanded down the entire piece to refine. I added the heart inside by cutting a thin piece of clay and pasting it to the inside. After firing I added a dark patina and polished the entire piece.
I loved how it turned out. I decided to add this to my shop as a made to order piece. I also made a matching band for women. I was so exited to learn that this also made the front page of Etsy!!! How exiting!

New Rings

I'm completely addicted!!! Now that I know how to make a

bezel setting I have completely gone crazy nuts and can't
stop! This one is a bit chunky made from a shell cabochon.

The back piece is metal clay attached to a sterling silver

band. I took this to the art gallery and it sold! This one
was fun to make!

Ring Projects!

After teaching myself to solder, I then challenged myself to learn how to set a bezel!! I had made a shank for a ring. It was already fired and ready to attach to a design. I made a back plate in metal clay, fired it, then soldered a formed bezel to the back plate. Once it was attached I added a found beach stone to the bezel setting then formed the bezel around the stone. I decided to keep this one for myself! Love it! My first bezel!

Going in Different Directions

Recently the last few months have been involved in teaching myself new jewelers techniques. I spent time learning to solder onto metal clay along with soldering other metals. Boy, was this different than pipe soldering! I learned that soldering onto metal clay was a challenge because metal clay once it is fired is very porous. When putting solder on this medium once heated the pores sucked up the solder. Finally after many failed attempts I made my first joined metal clay piece!!! This continued to my painted leaf project which finally became a necklace!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Front Page of Etsy!

I went into my emails today and what did I find? A notification that I was on the front page of Etsy! Squeeling I ran around notifying all my friends. Boy does it feel good to know that I finally took a picture that was front page worthy! I checked my Etsy site and 416 views with 21 hearts!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leaf Painting

I'm trying new projects left and right trying to expand my knowledge of working with Metal Clay. Recently I have been painting leaves.

Each leaf if picked out making sure to get the ones that seem almost perfect.

The next part is to adhere them to a press-n-seal surface so that the leaves when drying won't curl up at the ends.

The first layer is added slightly watered down. It is painted on then left to dry overnight.

Each layer goes on drying time overnight for best results.

I suggest if you're going to try this that you paint on at least 15 layers for a good thickness. These were painted with about 10 and there was some thiness that I had to build up.

Eventually the leaf will peel off, if it doesn't it will burn off during firing.

The result...... Realistic fine silver leaves!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Turtle And His Long Journey

I made my first attempt at an animal. As he goes through his long journey I will post his ups and downs ;)
His first hurdle was the tiny bubbles on his back, didnt quite work out the way I'd planned so I filed them off. After staring at the unfinished look of this for a while I decided to drill out the seed beads and contemplate this for a while.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unity Bracelet

This is my Unity bracelet. Made out of Metal Clay for a forum challenge!

Monday, March 29, 2010

All Things New and Fun!

Wow! I've been a busy bee lately! I have all new things that are going to be showing at the Grape and Ale in Southport, NC.
I'm pretty excited, the location is between Oak Island and Southport. I hope it brings alot of new clients my way!
Also I finally finished a Metal Clay piece that I'm going to enter into a challenge with The Military Brats Team on Etsy! The challenge piece was to be a dandelion. I originally made a piece for the challenge but decided on another entry.
First off here are two pics of the Grape and Ale, this wine shop has a variety of wines as well as a great selection of beer.
Then, the newest pieces that will be showcased there.
And last but not least.... My Challenge Piece!!!
Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Collection

I've been playing around with this idea in my head for a while how to make jewelry out of bottle caps, well this is what I came up with!

Sorry for the crude picture but It was with my phone and the lighting isn't all that great. It does give you an idea though what I've been doing.

I'm going to Harbor Freight today to look for small metal shears. I'm pretty excited, its one of my favorite stores. Lol!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Studio Setup

Here is a small 20 piece set up, soon to be bigger... At Lovebird Studio

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More New Things

I've been making things the past few days, here are 2 prs of earrings I just made!

Art Clay Copper

For the last few weeks I've been experimenting with a new material. AC Copper. I never thought I would never get it. My first experiment was a rose pendant. Trying to work as fast as I could the clay kept drying out. What I have since realized was I was kneading it as you would dough to form a ball, when flattened out it supplied hairline cracks that even using water to moisten didnt fix. Also this was over fired which caused weakness in those cracks causing it to split in every weakend spot.
Next was the attempt to make the Star Anise ... ( my name ) It was completely unsintered in the middle and powdery when I quenched it I heard a pop. :(
The next attempt I tried to keep it simple. I had some great advice from experienced people and they all said keep trying. I kept it thick placed my scrappy tool underneath so I could transport it to my plate warmer put some textured beads imprinted in the front and left them until completely dry. ( an hour or two) Then I sanded and fired. When I fired I got it to the pretty cherry red and kept it on for 5 or so min. let it naturally cool down then flipped it over and noticed in the center it looked not done. It was clay color in the center, I'm sure it was sintered but to be on the safe side... I fired it again till the whole piece was cherry again. Let it cool then burnished by hand and polished. Yay! Then I went with a complete experiment and made a thinner piece in the shape of a dandelion ( hoping I could use this as a challenge piece!)
It worked again! yay!
It does take patience working with this particular clay. It is very different than working with Silver clay and is messier I worked with it on a piece of glass, this was easy to clean up and didnt stick as much...
I hope this helps someone that is wanting to torchfire AC Copper.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Featured in a Storque on Etsy!

I had no idea! I was in the Storque under "Undiscovered Territories."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Begin Creating Again

What has felt like weeks has actually been months. Where has the time gone? Pushing on from one thing to the next. Wow, life. Somehow it caught up. I never really thought about it before but it was here. I am finally coming to what I feel is a close to the madness that has been going on since the first of the year.
A sigh of relief. A smile looking over my shoulder. The past.

Now to the future!! Fun stuff and creating! Meeting new people and enjoying what I've been given.

Now to the fun stuff... I've been playing with my copper again and trying to create more of a "pop" when it comes to the patina. Ahhh needless to say it didn't quite turn out as I pictured it in my mind. The Patina peeled off of my copper piece. I think I will try some sort of suspension with it in the same mixture to see if it helps in sticking to the piece, or maybe in the liquid form. I wish I would have paid more attention in chemistry class!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I was in a Treasury!

Thanks to a wonderful fellow artisan Heartsabustin, our Metal Clay Forum Challenge was put in a treasury!

Shout out to http://www.heartsabustin.etsy.com/ for being the treasury queen and taking the time to put it all together and jump in and get us recognition!

Some really exciting things are going to be happening in the next few weeks. I'm going to be speaking with a fellow local artist about helping out in her shop! I'm very excited about this! I am going to be a featured artist on the Military Brats blog for April! And, there is a new challenge in the Metal Clay thread, to create a bracelet!

I'm in the process of setting up another shop on Etsy with Vintage items. That is going alot slower than I thought it would but hopefully soon I will have Pictures of items that I can list.

I'm having a HUGE indoor yardsale this Sat. Hopefully I will do well and maybe get more clay to work with!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Metal Clay Artists Challenge

The last couple of weeks have been so much fun, in the jewelry and creating world. I joined a forum on Etsy a few months back and have met some amazing Artisans that are working with Metal Clay. Adornedbyrobin.Etsy.com started a challenge for the group of us to create a floral piece that we would vote on. We would create a challenge piece each month for the winner to pick the next challenge. I finally ordered my Silver Clay and started working with it immediately! Everything I made had a floral theme so I could pick from the lot. I listed one piece and suprisingly it sold in a couple of days! ( it was going to be my challenge piece)
All of the Entries were amazing! These guys are so talented.
The contest was posted and people were welcomed to vote this is how it ended up:
Gold Winners

Silver Winners

Bronze Winners

This has been so much fun to participate in and has made the last few weeks much easier to go through.
Thanks for the learning experiences and the fun!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Funny Things

I was in the shop today, messing with a new thing and was getting frustrated. I went into the living room and just began laughing... I had forgotten and left the tv on, I was playing a dvd which had stopped. The dogs were starring at the screen that had turned into a screensaver and were watching the bouncing ball. All four of them were sitting patiently looking up at the tv starring at this bouncing ball. I wish I had a camera.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've been considering working with a new medium the last few months and I finally got the nerve to just do it! Its called Precious Metal Clay. It is reclaimed silver mixed with a binder that when fired either in a kiln or by a torch becomes .999 pure silver. I Love It! I've made 4 pendants, one of which has become mine through trial and error. Err ehh humm.... Anyway, its a little harder to work with than just forging out metal since it is in clay form until you fire it.

I'm very proud of my 3 pendants that survived my forming, sanding and filing. Not to mention I'm glad they didnt have a melt down!

Here is a quick peek as to what they look like. Sorry, taken from my phone :(

I have a few more ideas and hope to make a couple more creations in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Changing Experience

It has been such a long time since I've been on here or done any work in my shop... Where to begin...... Some very life altering events have happened in my life that have put me on hold for the moment. I am starting to ever so slightly lean towards being myself again, its hard but it seems to be working.
I wonder, do all the people that I come in contact with on a daily basis affect my life? I mean really?! I guess they do, I mean I have met random people and for a split second I think wow, then years later realize hmmm maybe I was supposed to come in contact with them...
Why am I here? I mean , not here but in this particular place and time...... I ask myself this often. I wasnt supposed to live in this small town but somehow fate or some other being brought me here and I have yet to figure out the meaning. Are we supposed to? Or is something else behind us guiding us in the path we're supposed to be in? Hmmm...
Just some questions that I had swimming in my mind at 2:30 in the morning, awake cause I couldnt sleep.
I'm in the process of moving my studio and home to another location. This to me is very hard, and the death of a loved one makes it seem harder even tho I know they would want and encourage me to continue on.
It seems hard. I know many people understand this. But for me at this moment it feels as tho I am the only one.
There are quite a few things that keep me going, the fact that I know I should and the fact that I must!
I will continue on to update and put a big smile on my face.
We will talk soon

Friday, January 1, 2010


Up early to have a cup of coffee and get inspired! The last couple of days I worked on designing a pair of earrings. Got my inspiration from a piece of hardware and a horseshoe. Go figure! Saw it in my head and decided what the heck! Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Hammering out ( neighbors plugging their ears I'm sure ) Wish I had a roller!!! That would be awesome! But I almost like the feel that you get when youre hammering out a piece and putting that extra thought into when the hammer meets metal. Not sure if I would go to a roller but some of the pressing sparks some interest.

I had a friend that went to the Warhol Museum and took some pictures. Boy was I jealous. I get alot inspiration from looking at color and shapes. I'm working on transferring that to metal. I'm planning on dabbling in PMC. For those of you that dont know, Precious Metal Clay is Metal in a clay form that when kiln fired it fuses into a precious metal. Now this is something that I want to work with! I have been sculpting with Polymer Clay to practice with before I get into the real deal. Kinda fun actually I made dog tags stamped out with Name and phone numbers and attached them to bags of homemade dog biscuits for Christmas. Friends seemed to think it was cute. Using Polymer Clay for dog tags is a brilliant idea they are extremely durable, lightweight and they dont clang around. I hate that jingle/clanging noise!

Well, here is my latest piece that I posted in my shop, Enjoy and Happy New Year!!